FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
NEW WINE IN FRESH WINESKINS
September 4, 2015
Today’s gospel: Luke 5:33-39
The New Evangelization is new, but evangelization is 2,000 years old. The challenge is to know what to keep from the old and what to adopt as new.
The New Evangelization cannot just be carried out by what the Church has been doing all these years and by all the existing programs and ministries. As such, “no one pours new wine into old wineskins.” (v.37a). We have been doing what we have been doing, and still our Church weakens and we are losing Catholics by the day. If we just rely on what we have been doing and programs we have been running (and there are very many good ones), then, as Albert Einstein says, that is insanity, that is, doing the same things over and over but expecting a different result.
If we bring leadings of the Spirit showing us elements of the New Evangelization into existing structures, processes and mindsets, it could cause confusion, chaos, resistance and rebellion, as those used to things do not accept and are disconcerted by radical proposals. Unfortunately, “no one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’” (v.39). The old, what God has blessed us with in CFC-FFL, indeed, like old wine, is good, is very good. We do not throw out our old wine. We enjoy it, we allow it to fulfill its purpose. God still has a mighty purpose for CFC-FFL.
But we must desire the new wine that the Spirit offers. We must not close our minds and hearts to what is the greater wisdom and plan of God. So for the New Evangelization, new wineskins are needed. New ways and methodologies of handling evangelization are needed. If we persist in our old ways, what God reveals will go for naught. If we do not humble ourselves and be docile to the Holy Spirit, we will end up even opposing what is of God, and cause chaos even among ourselves. Thus ”the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.” (v.37b).
“Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.” (v.38). This is why our response as CFC-FFL to the New Evangelization is not just to do what we have always been doing, even as we try to go back to basics, stir up evangelistic zeal, etc. This is why God gave us LCSC, which we have been tasked to give to our Church.
The new wine of the New Evangelization is to be poured into the fresh wineskin that is LCSC.
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